> vitamins D and B12, calcium, and iron
Unless carefully planned, vegan diets may lack vitamins D and B12, calcium, and iron. These vitamins and minerals, as well as protein, zinc, vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids, are abundant in animal-based foods, which a vegan diet does not include. Animal-based foods are the only naturally occurring food source of B12, so it is extremely important that vegans consume fortified foods or a supplement to meet their daily needs.
A well-planned vegan diet that includes a range of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and vegetable oils provides ample amounts of vitamins C, E, and K, thiamin, and folate, as well as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Although vitamin A is found only in animal-based foods, vegans can get adequate amounts by consuming beta-carotene, a plant pigment that is converted to vitamin A in the body.